Opera News calls her “a natural actress…with thrilling, laser-like focus” and “luminous tone.” Opera magazine praises her “stunningly rich mezzo.” With a career that takes her throughout the U.S. and Europe, the “powerhouse” mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner is recognized as one of today’s great singers.
Recent performances include her Minnesota Orchestra debut as Herodias in Richard Strauss’ Salome; Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Orchestra Iowa; and Dalila in Samson et Dalila at Virginia Opera. She created the role of Jackie Onassis in David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s JFK, and starred at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Ma Joad in the premiere of the revised version of Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie’s The Grapes of Wrath.
This season Katharine returns to her native Iowa, where she can be heard in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the University of Iowa Symphony. She performs the Verdi Requiem with the Jacksonville Symphony, Fricka in Die Walküre in Augsburg, Germany, Brigitta in Die tote Stadt for her return to the Théatre du Capitôle, Toulouse, and Madame Larina in Eugene Oneginthis fall at Michigan Opera Theatre, where she will return in the spring to reprise her triumphant Ma Joad.
She performed her signature role of The Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos in Oviedo, Madrid, Salzburg, Toulouse, Lyon and at Paris’ Châtelet. In addition, she has appeared with the opera companies of Toulouse, Seville, Bilbao, Monte Carlo, Santa Fe, Arizona, Dallas, and Antwerp.
Katharine’s concert performances include Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Royal Ballet at Lincoln Center and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; Shostakovich’s Songs from Jewish Folk Poetry with The Orchestra Now at Carnegie Hall; K.A. Hartmann’s Erste Sinfonie with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Vienna Symphony, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Bruckner Orchestra. She has also performed in concert with the Mozarteum Orchestra, RSO-Vienna, Berlin Symphony, Filarmonica Toscanini, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, Prague Radio Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonie de Radio France, and the Basel Sinfonietta, under the batons of such distinguished conductors as Georges Prêtre, Sir Charles Mackerras, Leon Botstein, Hans Graf, Dennis Russell Davies, Lothar Zagrosek, Michael Schønwandt, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Adam Fischer, and Marek Janowski. Katharine has presented recitals at the Kennedy Center, the Salzburg Mozart Festival, Vienna’s Festival Ravel, the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, Drake University, and the University of Iowa.
Her 2017–2018 assignments included her role debut as Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana with Cedar Rapids Opera Theater in her home state of Iowa; a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Mme. Larina in Eugene Onegin, a role which also took her back to Hawaii Opera Theater, and her debut with the Opéra de Montréal as Jackie Onassis in JFK.
Her recent role debuts include Peggy Ophuls in the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis world premiere of Shalimar the Clown, by Jack Perla and Rajiv Joseph; Amneris in Aida with Utah Opera; Fricka in Minnesota Opera’s acclaimed production of Das Rheingold; Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at both the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Dutch National Opera; and Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw at Opéra National de Lyon. In the U.S. stage premiere of Dame Ethel Smythe’s 1906 The Wreckers at the 2015 Bard SummerScape Festival, she garnered universal praise in the demanding prima donna role of Thirza.
Her many roles at the Metropolitan Opera include the Schoolboy in Lulu (the role of her company debut, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Ascanio in Benvenuto Cellini, Nicklausse in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus and Jane Seymour in Anna Bolena. She has starred as Carmen at Finnland’s Savonlinna Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Dorset Festival (UK), Madison Opera, and New York City Opera.
As a member of the chamber trio The Prairie Song Project, she has commissioned two new works for mezzo, flute and piano: Peter Ash’s Paradox and Rory Boyle’s A Handful of Leaves.
Katharine received a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Iowa and was named an Alumni Fellow by the University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2012. She also holds a Magister Diplom with High Honors in German Lieder from Salzburg’s Hochschule Mozarteum. She shares her passion for vocal education by maintaining a private studio and presenting master classes for such distinguished institutions as the University of Iowa, Abilene Christian University, The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, Florida International University, Drake University, the University of Northern Iowa, Florida International University, and the University of Miami Summer in Salzburg program.